China

People's Republic of China
中华人民共和国 (Chinese)
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó (Pinyin)
Anthem: 义勇军进行曲
Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ
"March of the Volunteers"
Territory controlled by the People's Republic of China shown in dark green; territory claimed but not controlled shown in light green
Territory controlled by the People's Republic of China shown in dark green; territory claimed but not controlled shown in light green
CapitalBeijing
39°55′N 116°23′E / 39.917°N 116.383°E / 39.917; 116.383
Largest city
by population
Shanghai
Official languagesStandard Chinese[a]
Recognized regional languages
Official scriptSimplified Chinese[b]
Ethnic groups
(2020)[1]
Religion
(2020)[2]
Demonym(s)Chinese
GovernmentUnitary Marxist–Leninist[3] one-party socialist republic[4]
Xi Jinping
• Premier
Li Keqiang
Li Zhanshu
Wang Yang
LegislatureNational People's Congress
Formation
c. 2070 BCE
221 BCE
1 January 1912
1 October 1949
20 September 1954
4 December 1982
20 December 1999
Area
• Total
9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi)[f][7] (3rd / 4th)
• Water (%)
2.8[g]
Population
• 2022 estimate
1,410,539,758[9] (1st)
• 2020 census
Neutral increase 1,411,778,724[10] (1st)
• Density
145[11]/km2 (375.5/sq mi) (83rd)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $30.18 trillion[12] (1st)
• Per capita
Increase $21,364[12] (72nd)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $19.91 trillion[12] (2nd)
• Per capita
Increase $14,096[12] (64th)
Gini (2019)Positive decrease 38.2[13]
medium
HDI (2021)Increase 0.768[14]
high · 79th
CurrencyRenminbi (元/¥)[h] (CNY)
Time zoneUTC+8 (CST)
DST is not observed
Date format
Driving sideright (Mainland)
left (Hong Kong and Macau)
Calling code+86 (Mainland)
+852 (Hong Kong)
+853 (Macau)
ISO 3166 codeCN
Internet TLD

China (Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; Chinese: 中华人民共和国; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country with a population exceeding 1.4 billion people.[i] China spans five geographical time zones[j] and borders fourteen countries by land,[k] the most of any country in the world, tied with Russia. China also has a narrow maritime boundary with the disputed Taiwan.[l][m] Covering an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world's third or fourth largest country.[n] The country consists of 22 provinces,[l] five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two Special Administrative Regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The national capital is Beijing, and the most populous city and financial center is Shanghai.

Modern Chinese trace their origins to a cradle of civilization in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. The semi-legendary Xia dynasty in the 21st century BCE and the well-attested Shang and Zhou dynasties developed a bureaucratic political system to serve hereditary monarchies, or dynasties. Chinese writing, Chinese classic literature, and the Hundred Schools of Thought emerged during this period and influenced China and its neighbors for centuries to come. In the third century BCE, Qin's wars of unification created the first Chinese empire, the short-lived Qin dynasty. The Qin was followed by the more stable Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), which established a model for nearly two millennia in which the Chinese empire was one of the world's foremost economic powers. The empire expanded, fractured and re-unified, was conquered and reestablished, absorbed foreign religions and ideas, and made world-leading scientific advances, such as the Four Great Inventions: gunpowder, paper, the compass, and printing. After centuries of disunion following the fall of the Han, the Sui (581–618) and Tang (618–907) dynasties reunified the empire. The multi-ethnic Tang welcomed foreign trade and culture that came over the Silk Road and adapted Buddhism to Chinese needs. The early modern Song dynasty (960–1279) became increasingly urban and commercial. The civilian scholar-official or literati used the examination system and the doctrines of Neo-Confucianism to replace the military aristocrats of earlier dynasties. The Mongol invasion established the Yuan dynasty in 1279, but the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) re-established Han Chinese control. The Manchu-led Qing dynasty nearly doubled the empire's territory and established a multi-ethnic state that was the basis of the modern Chinese nation, but suffered heavy losses to foreign imperialism in the 19th century.

The Chinese monarchy collapsed in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution, when the Republic of China (ROC) replaced the Qing dynasty. In its early years of the Republic, the country became unstable known as the Warlord Era before reunifying the nation in 1928 under the nationalist government while the alliance between the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had fallen apart that led to a civil war that lasted two decades. Japan invaded China in 1937, starting the Second Sino-Japanese War and temporarily halting the civil war. The surrender and expulsion of Japanese forces from China in 1945 left a power vacuum in the country, which led to renewed fighting between the CCP and the Kuomintang. The civil war ended in 1949[o] with the division of Chinese territory; the CCP established the People's Republic of China on the mainland while the Kuomintang-led ROC government retreated to the island of Taiwan.[p] Both claimed to be the sole legitimate government of China, although the United Nations has recognized the PRC as the sole representation since 1971. From 1959 to 1961, the PRC implemented an economic and social campaign called the Great Leap Forward that resulted in an estimated 15 to 55 million deaths, mostly through starvation. China conducted a series of economic reforms since 1978, and entered into the World Trade Organization in 2001.

China is currently governed as a unitary one-party socialist republic by the CCP. China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a founding member of several multilateral and regional cooperation organizations such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund, the New Development Bank, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the RCEP, and is a member of the BRICS, the G8+5, the G20, the APEC, and the East Asia Summit. It ranks among the lowest in international measurements of civil liberties, government transparency, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and ethnic minorities. The Chinese authorities have been criticized by political dissidents and human rights activists for widespread human rights abuses, including political repression, mass censorship, mass surveillance of their citizens, and violent suppression of protests.

China is the world's largest economy by GDP by purchasing power parity, the second-largest economy by nominal GDP, and the second-wealthiest country. The country is one of the fastest growing major economies and is the world's largest manufacturer and exporter. China is a recognized nuclear-weapon state with the world's largest standing army by military personnel and second-largest defense budget. China is considered to be a potential superpower due to its large markets, growing military strength, economic potential, and influence in international affairs.


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  1. ^ "Erleichterung von Zuwanderung für Unternehmen vorteilhaft".
  2. ^ "Chinese Religion | GRF". globalreligiousfutures.org.
  3. ^ "Xi Jinping is making great attempts to 'Sinicize' Marxist–Leninist Thought 'with Chinese characteristics' in the political sphere," states Lutgard Lams, "Examining Strategic Narratives in Chinese Official Discourse under Xi Jinping" Journal of Chinese Political Science (2018) volume 23, pp. 387–411 at p. 395
  4. ^ "China (People's Republic of) 1982 (rev. 2018)". Constitute project. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Demographic Yearbook—Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density" (PDF). UN Statistics. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  6. ^ "China". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Largest Countries in the World by Area – Worldometers". worldometers.info.
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference CIA was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ "The World Factbook: China". Central Intelligence Agency. September 2022. Retrieved 24 September 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Cite error: The named reference 2020_census was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ "Population density (people per km2 of land area)". IMF. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d "China World Economic Outlook Database: April 2022". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  13. ^ "Gini index – China". World Bank. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  14. ^ "Human Development Report 2021/2022" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  15. ^ "China". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  16. ^ a b c "United States". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  17. ^ "China". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  18. ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain: "United States". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  19. ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain: "31 Years of CIA World Factbook". CIA. Retrieved 31 January 2014.

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